Nottingham Forest 1-0 Birmingham City

Nottingham Forest kept their Championship play-off hopes alive with a win over struggling Birmingham.

Matt Derbyshire was played through by Jamie Paterson in the second minute and fired in to put the home side ahead.

Forest dominated the first half but failed to add a second as Ben Osborn and David Vaughan shot wide.

The home side were almost punished but a Chris Burke shot was deflected wide and keeper Karl Darlow saved a Paul Robinson header as Forest held on.

The victory ended a run of 12 league games without a win for temporary manager Gary Brazil and moved his side to within three points of the top six.

Forest's remaining three games see them visit Leeds and Bournemouth before a home game against Brighton.

For Birmingham, defeat means they lie just a point above the bottom three, although they have a game in hand on most of their rivals.

The visitors could have little complaint at the defeat by Forest, who took an early lead when Derbyshire slotted past advancing keeper Darren Randolph.

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Post-match: Birmingham boss Clark

Forest had plenty of chances to extend their advantage but failed to do so as Osborn headed over and sent a shot wide, while Derbyshire and Vaughan also sent strikes narrowly off target.

Birmingham improved after the break and Burke crossed for Nikola Zigic only for the striker to head straight at Darlow.

Burke thought he had equalised when he flashed a shot across goal before a deflection took his effort wide.

From the resulting corner, Darlow excellently turned a Robinson header around the post as Forest won their first league game since 11 February.

Nottingham Forest caretaker boss Gary Brazil: "I said weeks ago that it might not take a massive number of points to get you into sixth place and it is proving to be the case.

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Post-match: Forest caretaker Brazil

"If we can get a win at Elland Road, the last two games are going to be very interesting.

"I am really pleased for everyone at the club because this has been a tough period. To get ourselves a win now gives us some momentum, but we have to carry that on now, on Monday afternoon."

Birmingham manager Lee Clark: "We have to dust ourselves down following this, because we have some huge games coming up.

"We have to go again. We need our senior players to step up to the plate.

"It is in our own hands and we have to look after ourselves. We have to produce the goods. We grasped things better in the second half, but we need to do it for entire games."

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Leicester4328963693
2Burnley43241453286
3Derby43239112978
4QPR432110121473
5Wigan422010121770
6Brighton431714121265
7Reading431713131064
8Ipswich43171313664
9Nottm Forest43151711562
10Bournemouth43171115-162
11Blackburn43151612361
12Watford421515121860
13Middlesbrough43141613958
14Bolton43131614-255
15Sheff Wed43131416253
16Leeds4315820-853
17Huddersfield43121120-947
18Birmingham42111021-1143
19Doncaster43111022-2843
20Millwall43101320-2943
21Charlton42101220-2442
22Blackpool43101221-2742
23Barnsley4391222-2939
24Yeovil4381322-2537
View full Championship table

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